The tour will start in Lübeck in July and finish in Lübeck 21 days later.
Daily legs will cover about 200 km, sometimes more, less on many days, depending on terrain and availability of accommodation. Actually, only 12 of 21 days have more than 150 km, 6 of which have more than 200 km.
Stopovers in major cities and ferry sections can be used for events and gatherings to promote the mission of the tour.
Below is the structure of the ride. All days have been planned in greater detail, and destinations have been fixed. All campgrounds are identified, reservations have been made in April of 2014. On each of the daily sections in the schedule column of this page you will find a download link to the .gpx-file with the track for the day.
Registered Riders: No need to download these one by one now. You will receive a set of tracks for the entire tour by email – these tracks have been checked once more and supplemented with information about rest stops etc.
Click on the days to get more information about each day. Step by step, the detailed info for each day will be completed.
The map on top is the full picture, about 3.000 km in all, not counting the ferry rides. In the end, we will probably have covered 3.300 km on wheels.
The route will lead through Schleswig-Holstein, embark on the ferry to Rødby, Denmark, at Puttgarden, continue on to Copenhagen and Helsingør, cross over by ferry to Sweden and head towards Stockholm.
Another ride by ferry will take the tour to Turku, Finland, continuing on to Helsinki.
Again by ferry, the tour will head for Tallinn, Estonia. The route crosses Estonia and leads along the Gulf of Riga to Latvia’s capital city, Riga, heading southwards to the banks of the Neman river, then straight to the Polish border. In Poland we will cross the Masuarian Lake District and stay a day in its center before heading on to Stegna on the sea shore.
Via Gdansk and Rostock the route heads back to Lübeck along the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, passing through Greifswald and Wismar.
Thus the tour will combine riding beautiful countryside and coastline with major cities and historic places, it will bring to mind the many historic and cultural links across the Baltic Sea as well as the rich diversity of cultures in the region.
GBSR 2014 will be a visual of the sense of togetherness and common interest of the peoples around the Baltic Sea.
The plan has a mix of riding days and rest days, resp. days with less riding as we visit major cities.
Days 4 and 15 are relaxing days out in the country, days 7, 9, 10 and 17 are city days with cruising or little riding (such as the 81 km on day 17 at Gdansk).
The longest legs are across Sweden, day 3 being the longest of them all, which also has the only night ride on the tour. There is a Plan B to avoid the night ride in case of adverse conditions, which would shift the rest day in Växjö to Copenhagen. In terms of balancing ride and rest, Växjö is to be preferred.
The route has been fully planned. GPX-tracks are ready, awaiting further refinement based on feed back from local riders.
The choice of roads has been difficult in places, cycling infrastructure is not good everywhere. Some sections mapped out now may turn out to not being suitable for us (mostly in urban areas in the Baltic States and Poland), in which case we will need to improvise until getting back on the track appears possible.
There will be a good amount of larger or major roads with traffic. Be prepared to ride in traffic, have good and working lights, make sure to recharge in time.
Side roads have been checked as far as possible. They will be paved, but pavement can be rough and uneven. There may be a few sections of unpaved trail; they should be rare and rather short. Generally, do not expect to find much smooth tar – given the climate in Europe’s North, road surface is rather on the rough side with higher rolling resistance than many of us prefer.
We will have a support van riding behind the tour as a back-up in case of accident, illness or a serious mechanical problem, which does not allow the rider to continue the ride for the day. The van will be able to store 4-5 velomobiles. Please note that this is back-up and should only be used in case of real need.
The support van will also be able to transport our luggage, except for all items riders may need outside of camp! However, all riders should calculate and pack their belongings in such a way that they could be carried along within the velomobiles. For transport in the van, riders should pack their items in one larger duffel bag (Seesack) – this will make loading (done by riders leaving the campground last) and unloading (done by riders arriving at the campground first) much easier.
All accommodations are on campgrounds; in the urban areas they were selected to offer a good balance between proximity (to the city) and restfulness. In several cases this means the tour will camp on the margins and head into the city the following morning. The description of each day has information on the campground, its facilities and services, resp. a link to the website. Reservations will be made for the group; please do not make individual reservations.
I have prepaid accommodation whereever needed or possible. On all other nights, campground fee will have to be paid on the spot. Be sure to have some cash in local currency.
The ferry sections will be booked in advance where necessary. We will use the ferry ride from Stockholm to Turku as accommodation – a cabin passage has been booked for all riders; we’ve resisted the lower fares for cabins next to night club to give you are more restful night.
In terms of travel documents, you will need a valid passport or ID for the tour. All countries are members of the Schengen area, which means that we will travel freely without border controls. You may still be asked to show your ID on the border, and there can be customs inspections on the border or within an extended area near the border.
Riders who are not resident of an EU member state will need to check on the travel documents they need. Generally, the freedom of movement within the Schengen area applies to them as well.
Germany, Finland, Estonia and Latvia are using the single currency Euro (€); Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, and Poland use their respective national currencies. Be prepared to buy local currency, using debit or credit cards at local ATM, or change cash at a local bank. In most places, money exchange servives can be found near the border.